Archive for September, 2007

How Do Kids Use & Experience Social Networking Sites?

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Just after I wrote an article called A Survey of Kidsĺ Social Networking Sites, a noteworthy report was released by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and the research firm Grunwald Associates which takes a look at how students use and experience social networking sites. In the report called Creating & Connecting // Research and Guidelines on Online Social Ś and Educational Ś Networking some 1,277 students ages nine to 17 were surveyed online about their online social networking habits. In addition to the student survey, 1,039 parents and 250 school district leaders were also interviewed by telephone about their thoughts regarding students using social networking sites. This 12 page brief offers up some surprising statistics and contains just a very small fraction of the much larger in-depth report which can be purchased through Grunwald Associates.

Here I’ve separated out just the student responses found in this smaller report. This first set of statistics reveal how students are active participants and creative contributors in online social networking and community-based destinations:

  • 96% of all students who have access to the Internet report that they have used social networking technologies (including chat, text messaging, blogging and visiting online communities)
  • 81% say they have visited a social networking site within the past three months
  • 71% say they use social networking sites at least weekly
  • 41% say they post comments on message boards every week
  • 21% say they post comments on message boards every day
  • 12% upload music or podcasts of their own creation at least weekly
  • 9% say they upload video of their own creation at least weekly
  • 25% update their personal Web site or online profiles at least weekly
  • 12% update their personal Web site or online profiles every day
  • 30% report having there own blogs

This next set of data calls out how students encounter problems online with inappropriate content, cyberbullying, privacy and strangers:

  • 20% of all students say they have seen inappropriate pictures on social networking sites
  • 16% say they have seen inappropriate language on social networking sites
  • 7% say they have experienced self-defined cyberbullying
  • 7% say someone has asked them for information about their personal identity on a social networking site
  • 4% say they have had conversations on social networking sites that made them feel uncomfortable
  • 3% say they’ve given out their email addresses, instant messaging screen names, or other personal identification to strangers
  • 3% say unwelcome strangers have tried repeatedly to communicate with them online
  • 2% say a stranger they met online tried to meet them in person
  • 0.08% of all students say they’ve actually met someone in person from an online encounter without their parent’s permission